One thing is for sure. You cannot hand somebody without any experience in pest control the reins and expect them to create something exceptional without direction, even if they are excellent at what they do.
Finding the right marketing team is hard enough as it is.
However, there is a huge reason big pest control companies hire in-house and small companies burn through marketers before getting discouraged and deciding marketing ‘doesn’t work’ for them.
Who has the time to explain how your business functions when you and your team are pulling 75-hour work weeks?
Finding the Right People
In the same way, consumers are bombarded by advertising messages from every direction; small businesses are often overwhelmed with decisions on where and when to spend their limited marketing budget.
So, how do you ensure you find the right people?
If you’re hiring someone without experience advertising for a pest control company (which is usually the case)—find someone with technical writing and research experience or who has worked with businesses in a similar or related industry.
i.e. Lawn Care, Commercial Property Management.
Alternatively, you could hire a student.
While I might be a bit biased because that’s precisely how I started, there’s an excellent PCT magazine article on the subject.
The Bottom Line On Outsourcing
You’re looking for someone enthusiastic and willing to learn about the business.
It’s a lot easier to market services like bakeries and nail salons because the appeal is obvious, and there are very few misconceptions.
So at a bare minimum, marketers need to understand;
Whether you are commercial, residential or both. (When I started, I had no idea a large portion of structural IPM is centred around property management and commercial real estate).
What your service schedule looks like from month-to-month. There is no point in marketing dooryard pests in the winter or heat treatments over chemical sprays when one is more lucrative than the other for you.
And it is incredibly ineffective to start marketing for cluster flies three or four days into when the window for spray treatments begins.
And who the big names in pest control are.
It’s much easier to look at people like Orkin, Terminix or PCT Magazine and get an idea of what successful pest control marketing looks like than it is to dream something up from scratch on a shoestring budget.
Messaging to Avoid
When I started, I was handed a very helpful and targeted set of rules on what kind of messaging to avoid.
- Don’t use fear-mongering. You want to be the expert resource and the comforting voice on the phone, dispelling fears about bed bug treatments. Not the PSA guy.
- Don’t make guarantees. There are so many factors that can play into how effective a treatment is going to be. (Tenant compliance, location, reintroduction etc.)
- Don’t claim to have a quick or easy fix. Instead, explain why DIY pest control often fails and how your expertise makes you the best defence against an infestation.
- Be accurate in your marketing. It used to drive me crazy how often a post would get rejected because it had the wrong type of fly. But the disconnect between what IPM professionals and consumers know is the perfect foundation for educational content.
ideas to help your marketing team succeed
And, as a bonus, here are a few quick tips to help immerse your marketing team in the industry and what your company does.
- Schedule a ride-along with one of your technicians so your team can take pictures for marketing material and learn what your technicians do.
- Dig up old educational pamphlets and product brochures for them to flip through. A smart copywriter can rework messaging used by product manufacturers and IPM conferences into something insightful.
- Have some honest conversations. Letting your marketers talk with the executive members of your team about their experiences, common customer complaints, and personal stories can help inform authentic talking points.
Final Notes On Supporting Your Marketing Team
When working with creatives, it can be hard to tell if you’re reaching your goals.
Many campaigns are longer-term commitments that require constant tweaks and improvements until you find the content that gives you the best returns on your investment.
Additionally, creativity often requires a certain period of research and idea-gathering before anything can be produced.
So, it’s best to set clear deadlines for when you need things done. And to only focus on one or two projects at a time.
If you’re asking for a website, three social media accounts and a brand-new brochure, that will take a lot of time and money while pulling your team in several different directions.
Aim for quality content and completed projects that will be foundational for future projects. ♻️